Free Parking at Christmas is Not a Tragedy of the Commons
William A. Fischel
Dartmouth College - Department of Economics; Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
In his famous 1968 article, Garrett Hardin used the municipal practice of suspending the use of parking meters for Christmas shoppers as an example of how short-sighted politicians create a "Tragedy of the Commons." I argue that this example was not well chosen. Because shoppers spend more time in stores during December and because conventional parking meters are not easily recalibrated, free parking and the nonprice rationing that downtown organizations adopt are actually efficient responses to seasonal demand shifts.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 8
Keywords: tragedy of the commons, parking, municipalities
JEL Classification: Q20, H82, R41working papers series
Date posted: May 2, 2005
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